Defeat Lust & Pornography A pastor's kid in a suit standing outside a church building.
Defeat Lust & Pornography 3 minute read

How a Porn-Addict Pastor’s Kid Found Purity of Heart

Last Updated: June 8, 2023

This Victory Story was part of an essay submitted for our scholarship contest. To learn more about Covenant Eyes scholarships, see here.

Growing up as a Chicago church planter’s son and having the privilege of being fed the Gospel as “theological baby food” as a kid, you would think I’d have everything under control on the outside. Look under the rug, and you find an awkward, codependent teenager constantly fighting the cyclical nature of porn, shame, and repentance like it was routine. The result? A “second life” as a struggling porn addict constantly vacuuming my “life rug” and dumping all the gunk under it to maintain a false reputation of myself.

Nevertheless, by God’s sheer mercy and provision over my life and the added support of Covenant Eyes, I have seen the Lord’s work in my life by Him freeing me of my bondage to pornography, propelling me to engage, hold accountable, and encourage other brothers in Christ towards purity, and priming my heart and mind for marriage—Lord-willing!

In conjunction with my addiction-oriented personality, pornography has always been a constant battle, taking me hostage and enslaving me to my sexual desires. However, walking into the battlefield with allies by my side through Covenant Eyes’ accountability reports has equipped me with a powerful weapon to fight back against hiding my porn struggle across my electronic devices. Nevertheless, this weapon’s utility at school has only led me to see more and more the time-consuming deprivation of pornography and the possible ramifications that result from any engagement with it. Near destruction of possible/developing friendships, loss of study time for future career success, abounding awkwardness and superficiality around others—all of which have led me back to depending on the Lord and even coming up with different ways to utilize Covenant Eyes better.

As fellow Covenant Eyes users know, “dependence” and “utilization” both function best when integrated with a rock-solid community—people who seek to know and love you. Therefore, in growing in my dependence on the Lord and allowing him to clean all the gunk I’ve been sweeping under my “life rug,” I have—and look to further—engage, hold accountable, and encourage other brothers in Christ towards purity.

For example, if I know a good male friend who struggles with pornography, I would be inclined to share the benefits of Covenant Eyes and its impact on my life. Thus, a deeper commandership leads to a sense of comfort in recognizing how common the struggle is and then magnifies the importance of confronting and engaging the issue through dialogue. Accountability-wise, although I am an ally to my dad and younger brother, I look to also engage with the guys from my small group in Atlanta and become a Covenant Eyes accountability partner and “fellow fighter” alongside them as they fight the good fight against sexual temptation. As I have had the privilege to have weekly check-ins with my mentor and occasional conversations surrounding my journey with overcoming porn with my parents, I would like to reciprocate that same kind of brotherly love with other guys I’m close with.

Practically, I’ve had the opportunity to know more about the fight some of my close buddies are battling and encourage them to either install Covenant Eyes—if they have not already done so—or continue encouraging them to avoid lust. This call then follows with a call to action in growing in their love for Christ while getting plugged into the kind of community that will seek to continually encourage them to live a life free from the bondage of pornography.

I believe the Lord has used my journey as a recovering porn addict to bring many people into my life to keep me accountable for my technology use and show me the lies that have only left me running to the long-term shame and guilt porn has planted in my life during my teenage years. Thus, this has allowed me to show other guys younger than me—such as my brother, who struggles with porn as well—the freedom found in delighting in Christ and the life-giving sacrifice he has performed to give us the ability to be completely free from the addictive cycle of pornography. Covenant Eyes is not only a subscription service but a medium drawing me towards further transparency, growth, and resulting encouragement.

  1. Dennis

    Ben – A great article demonstrating great honesty and transparency. You wisely use active, present-tense verbs such as battling, freeing, enslaving, depending, surrounding, battling, recovering. The wisdom is that this battle is ongoing.

    Life’s journey will throw you some brutal curve balls that will hit you where it hurts the most. (Yes! Just that bad) In that moment of pain, frustration, discouragement, heart-break, a college course that eats your lunch, or a night with one too many beers, Satan will worm his way into your brain whispering “just once won’t hurt…”

    He is relentless. He never gives up. And he will keep poking around your psyche looking for the slightest vulnerability.

    You also included the word “encouraging.” What a wonderful quality. The ability to relate to someone, trying to understand their struggles, listening to what they are saying instead of lecture, caring rather than preaching, demonstrating empathy, not judging (EVER!), actually caring about them and their battle, and finally praying for them. Blessings to you. Now Be Strong and Courageous.

  2. Ben

    I think that you have a mistake in this sentence: “as they fight the good fight against sexual purity.” … against “sexual temptation” perhaps?

    Thank you for sharing your story.

    • Keith Rose

      Thanks Ben, I’ll fix that! Appreciate your comment.

      Blessings,

      Keith

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